Planning for year-end gifts with the gift tax annual exclusion

There have been proposals in Washington to reduce the estate and gift tax exemption amount, as well as make other changes to the estate tax laws. Making tax-free gifts by year end can reduce the size of your taxable estate and may be one way to recognize and address this potential threat.

Why making annual exclusion gifts before year end can still be a good idea

A tried-and-true estate planning strategy is to make tax-free gifts to loved ones during life, because it reduces potential estate tax at death. There are many ways to make tax-free gifts, but one of the simplest is to take advantage of the annual gift tax exclusion with direct gifts. Even in a potentially changing estate[ … ]

How to determine if you need to worry about estate taxes

Here’s a simplified way to project your estate tax exposure. Take the value of your estate, net of any debts. Also subtract any assets that will pass to charity on your death. Then, if you’re married and your spouse is a U.S. citizen, subtract any assets you’ll pass to him or her. Those assets qualify[ … ]